Creating an Acrostic Poem

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Creating an Acrostic Poem

In this lesson, you will create an impressive acrostic poem. You will use your Intel-based MacBook, or iMac, (or other Macintosh computer running OSX 10.5 or higher), and the preloaded software to complete the project.

Images are provided to help you along the way, and there is a sample poem on the last page of this lesson.

Try to follow the steps in the activity as closely as you can, but once you have a feel for the way the software works, feel free to elaborate in order to personalize your poem and further develop your computer skills.

Here is a list of the tools you’ll use:

ComputerMS Office-Word
iSight CameraDashboard Widget-Dictionary/Thesaurus
PrinterPhotoBooth, iPhoto (optional)

Setting Up the Document

1. Open MS Word application. Look for the icon in the Dock. If you can’t find it there, open a New Finder Window, then click on Applications, then scoll down to MicroSoft Office 2004 or Office X, then open (or expand) that folder to show the icon. Double-click on it to open the application.

2. Pull down the File menu to New Blank Document, or, in the Project Gallery, click Word Document, then click Done.

3. Type the title of the poem (name of the person, animal, item) on the first line of the page, ideally with all capital letters.

4. Press the return key two or three times to leave some space between the title and the first line of the poem.

5. Now type the same word vertically, down the left side of the page, again in all captial letters, pressing the return key after each letter, so that each letter is on its own line. Don’t worry about the appearance being rather dull at this point. The first task is to get the structure down.

6. Save your document. Some students may remark that they “…have not finished yet…” This is a good opportunity to remind ourselves that we should be saving our work early on in the process, and then repeatedly as the document grows. Pull down the File menu to Save… A ‘sheet’ will appear at the top of your window. The one shown here shows that the document will be saved as: HENRY.doc on the Desktop. (You may elect to have your students save their work with a more specific name, and in another location.) Click Save.

Using the Dashboard Widget – Dictionary/Thesaurus

7. Click on the Dashboard icon in the Dock.

8. The dictionary widget may already be present on your desktop, but if it is not, click on the plus sign (in the circle in the lower left corner of the screen), and other widgets that are available will appear.

9. Click on the dictionary widget (it also includes the thesaurus). The widget will appear. You can drag it anywhere you like. Click on the Thesaurus button at the top of the widget, then type in a word you want to find synonyms for. Let’s say, for example, that you want to find a word that means ‘friendly’, but you don’t have an “F” in your name. Type the word friendly in, and then look for a word that starts with the letter you need.

10. Once you have found the word, click on the Word icon in the Dock to return to your acrostic poem. Type your word on the line that beings with its first letter. Repeat this process until you have filled in all the lines of your poem. Remember to continue to save your work by pulling down the File menu to Save, or by holding down the Apple key and pressing S. (+S).

Using the PhotoBooth Application to Take a Picture

11. Click on the Finder icon. If a Finder window does not appear, pull down the File menu to New Finder Window (+N).

12. Click on Applications, then scroll down to PhotoBooth. Double-click on the PhotoBooth icon to open it.

13. Adjust your seated, (or for small students, your standing position) in front of the computer. You may also be able to...
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